American Express Business Platinum review: Worth the annual fee for frequent travelers
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- New cardholders can earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® bonus points by spending $15,000 in the first three months.
- This card gives you complimentary access to airport lounges around the world. Enrollment may be required
- Offset some of those travel expenses that add up fast, like checked bagged fees and in-flight refreshments, with up to $200 per year in airline fee credit with a pre-selected airline.
- The annual fee is substantial. If you don't expect to spend enough to offset the fee, you might consider a no-annual-fee travel rewards business card like the Capital One Spark Miles for Business .
American Express is a CardRatings advertiser.
Heads up, big spenders with regular business travel responsibilities— The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is made for you.
If you're familiar with the consumer version, The Platinum Card® from American Express, you know that it comes with some impressive rewards-earning opportunities as well as the kind of added perks and features that make discerning customers sit up and take notice. The business version offers many of those same perks as well as a number of additional features that you would expect from a business card with a $595 annual fee. (See Rates and Fees.)
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is rewarding right from the outset, giving big spending, business customers the opportunity to earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 within the first three months.
On an ongoing basis, you earn 5X Membership Rewards® points for each $1 spent when you book flights and prepaid hotels via the American Express travel portal and 1X point per $1 on all your other purchases. Plus, earn an extra half-point (for 1.5X points) per $1 on each qualifying purchase of $5,000 or more for up to 1 million additional points each year.
Additionally, the American Express Business Platinum offers a 35% Airline Bonus when you Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline. You can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year when the flight is booked on amextravel.com.
- Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
- Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
- Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
- Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
- Redeem on travel-including flights, vacation rentals, car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 15+ travel loyalty programs
- No foreign transaction fees
In addition to solid rewards on travel purchases, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express takes care of its users while traveling as well.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express offers some impressive perks for travelers, including up to $200 each year in statement credit to cover incidental airline fees, a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®, and access to more than 1,200 airport lounges. Enrollment required for select benefits
AMERICAN EXPRESS BUSINESS PLATINUM AIRLINE CREDIT
With The Business Platinum Card® from American Express you can earn up to $200 annually in statement credit to cover incidental airline fees – checked bags, in-flight meals, seat upgrades, etc. – on a qualifying airline that you select (the same airline that you'll earn 35% of your points back on when you redeem). You'll be able to change your selection each January if you want. If you take advantage of the full credit, you effectively lower the annual fee by $200 just by utilizing this one perk.
You can also receive one Global Entry ($100) statement credit every four years or one TSA Pre✓® ($85) statement credit every 4.5 years for an application fee charged to your Business Platinum Card®. If approved for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®, you'll spend less time waiting at select airports. You can learn more about the differences between these two programs in our guide to Global Entry and TSA PreCheck.
AMERICAN EXPRESS BUSINESS PLATINUM LOUNGE ACCESS
Just because you're traveling for business (or not) doesn't mean you can't travel in style. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express gives you access to more than 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries and counting. The American Express Global Lounge Collection® offers travelers more lounge options than any other card on the market allowing your trip to be a luxurious one no matter what you're traveling for. Enrollment may be required
AMERICAN EXPRESS BUSINESS PLATINUM FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express has no foreign transaction fees, giving you peace of mind to use the card while you travel internationally. This benefit may seem like a minor one, but it really adds up compared to cards that do have foreign transaction fees. For example, cards without this perk generally charge around 3% on any foreign transactions made. Say you travel abroad five times a year, spending on average $5,000 each time you go. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express could save you as much as $750 in fees. (See Rates and Fees.)
Do you qualify for The Business Platinum Card® from American Express?
The list of people who can apply for a small business card is long, and includes freelancers/self-employed individuals, entrepreneurs, small business owners/officers, owners/officers of established businesses, and owners/officers of startups. Most companies define "business" quite broadly when it comes to considering applicants for small business cards. To qualify for a business card, you must be an "authorized officer" of a company. Basically, this means that you must have the legal right to enter into borrowing arrangements with financial institutions on behalf of a business. If you are the owner of a sole proprietorship business or the sole owner of a small business, you are already an "authorized officer." You are, after all, the only owner of the company. It can be more complicated determining who ranks for businesses that have multiple owners. In general, though, most owners are also "authorized officers."
Issuers consider each application on its own merits, so don't assume you don't qualify just because your business might not fit that standard business model. Do keep in mind though that your personal credit history will likely be what is used to determine your eligibility and/or credit limit on a business card before you've built up a credit history for your business.
If your business doesn't have a tax ID number (EIN), you can enter your personal social security number instead. In general, try to have the following information handy when you apply:
- Business name
- Business name as you want it to appear on the card
- Business address
- Type of business
- Tax ID number (or your social security number)
- Number of employees
- Annual revenue/sales
- Monthly expenses
- Number of years in business
- Ownership type (publicly traded, privately owned, etc.)
- Business structure (LLC, corporation, non-profit, etc.)
To learn more about who can qualify for a small business card, and how to apply for one, be sure to check out our "Small Business Credit Cards 101" guide.
Amex Platinum Card® Business vs. Personal
With premium travel benefits, and a high annual fee to match, The Platinum Card® from American Express is a great alternative to the Business Platinum Card®. Both cards have an included $200 annual airline fee credit that can cover incidental airline charges, like baggage fees and in-flight refreshments with a pre-selected airline (act fast! - offer expected to expire in 2021), and both have access to the Global Lounge Collection®, offering travelers more lounge options than any other cards on the market. The personal card, however, has a unique travel perk that the business card lacks – Uber VIP status and statement credit to cover rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings. The business card, on the other hand, offers up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Enrollment required for select benefits.
Some key differentiators, in addition to one being a business and the other being a personal card, between the two cards are the new cardmember welcome bonus and the annual fees. The Platinum Card® from American Express has an annual fee of $550 and a welcome bonus of 75,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points after you make $5,000 in purchases in the first six months of card membership. Business Platinum has an annual fee of $595 and a welcome bonus of 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 within your first three months of card membership.
The personal Platinum card earns 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year) and on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com, and 1X point on all other purchases. Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new card at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first six months of card membership. The business card also offers the opportunity to get 50% more Membership Rewards® points on eligible purchase of $5,000 or more, up to 1 million additional points per year. The business card also offers a 35% airline bonus when you use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline.
Amex Business Platinum vs. Amex Business Gold
With a more modest annual fee, a great new card member bonus and lucrative daily points earning, the American Express® Business Gold Card is a great substitute for the Business Platinum Card® from Amex. The Business Gold card comes with a $295 annual fee, much lower than the Business Platinum's annual fee. The Business Gold card is also for a limited time offering new cardholders the opportunity to earn 70,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points after spending $10,000 in the first three months.
Where the Business Gold card really shines is in daily spend points earning. The Business Gold earns 4X points on the two select categories (including U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurants, and more) where your business spent the most each month (4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these two categories each calendar year).
Amex Platinum Business vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Both the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express are currently offering excellent welcome bonuses for new card members. The Sapphire Reserve® card is currently offering 60,000 Ultimate Rewards® points once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. If redeemed for travel using the Chase Travel portal this bonus alone is worth $900.
Two areas that the cards differ are in their annual fees and annual travel credits. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® has a $550 annual fee for the primary cardholder, which is easily offset by the $300 annual travel reimbursement statement credit that is automatically applied to any travel purchases made on the card. The Business Platinum Card®’s slightly higher $595 annual fee is similarly offset by a $200 annual airline fee credit that can cover incidental airline charges, like baggage fees and in-flight refreshments with a pre-selected airline.
Additionally, the cards earn ongoing rewards a bit differently. The Sapphire Reserve® earns users 3X points on travel immediately after earning the $300 travel credit, 3X points on dining at restaurants, and 1X point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Frequent business travelers who appreciate some added comforts when they travel and can offset the hefty annual fee with the rewards they earn are ideal candidates for The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. If the added travel perks don't mean that much to you, you might want to consider another business card with higher rewards-earning potential in additional categories.
For rates and fees for the American Express cards mentioned in this post, please see the following links: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (See Rates and Fees); The Platinum Card® from American Express (See Rates and Fees); American Express® Business Gold Card (See Rates and Fees)